ACHR PRESS RELEASE

ACHR INDEX: PR/IND/27/2013
Date: 18 September 2013

Central Universities discriminate the most against the STs in the recruitment

101 crimes were committed every day against SCs and STs during 2001 to 2012

New Delhi: Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) in its report, “India’s Unfinished Agenda for Inclusion: A study on denial of reservation to the tribals in the government services and posts” (http://www.achrweb.org/reports/india/UnfinishedAgenda.pdf) released today stated that the Scheduled Tribes (STs) are the most deprived in the government employment. As of 8 May 2013, the maximum number of backlog vacancies with the Central Government was 12,195 posts for the STs, followed by 8,332 posts for the Other Backward Classes (OBCs) and 6,961 posts for the Scheduled Castes (SCs).

Central Universities discriminate the most:

“According to information provided by the University Grants Commission (UGC) under the Right to Information Act, the representation of the STs in the post of professors has come down from 3.88% (46 STs against total of 1,187 professors) in 2006-07 to 0.24% (4 STs against total sanctioned posts of 1,667 professors) in 2010-11; from 1.03% (18 STs against total of 1,744 Readers) in 2006-2007 to 0.32% (10 STs against total sanctioned posts of 3,155 Readers) in 2010-11 in the post of Readers; and from 4.43% (129 STs against total of 2,914 Lecturers) in 2006-07 to 3.63% (193 STs against total posts of 5,317) in 2010-11 in the post of Lecturers. In fact, there is better representation of the STs in the top echelons of the Central Government of India than in the Central universities. During 2010-11, at the level of the Secretary to the Central Government, the representation of the STs was 2.68% while representation of the STs at the level of Professor in the Central Universities was mere 0.24%. During the same period, at the level of the Additional Secretary and Joint Secretary to the Government of India, the combined representation of the STs was 2.5% while the representation of the STs at the level of Readers in the Central Universities was mere 0.32%.”- stated the study.

“The data provided by the UGC shows that India’s higher educational institutions remain the most casteist, possibly a reflection of the opposition to the reservation policy.” – stated Mr Suhas Chakma , Director of Asian Centre for Human Rights.

Parliamentary panel's order for inquiry into the CBDT's refusal to promote the STs: 

The officials holding positions of power on appointments in the posts and services of the government have adopted certain modus operandi to deprive the STs and others’ access to the reserved seats. The posts in the reserved seats are kept vacant for certain years, and later dereserved on the ground of public interest as “no suitable candidates found” even if many ST and other reserved category candidates meet all the eligibility criteria for the specific posts. The Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Welfare of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in its Twenty Fourth Report titled “Reservation for and employment of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT)” presented before the Parliament on 26 November 2012 noted “every year a good number of SC/ST candidates qualify the examination for promotion but only handful are promoted” by the CBDT and“despite having SC/ ST candidates who are eligible for promotion posts, the CBDT has been depriving these candidates of rightful promotion.” While rejecting the contention of the Finance Ministry about “non-availability of eligible candidates is the major reason for backlog”, the Parliamentary Standing Committee recommended that “an enquiry should be initiated for such cases in various Directorates to determine the reasons for keeping promotion posts vacant despite availability of SC/ST candidates, who have already qualified in the examination for promotion”.

101 crimes commited daily against SCs and STs during 2001 to 2012: The National Crime Records Bureau

“The caste system is the root cause of economic, social and political exclusion and the reservation policy is an attempt to ensure inclusion of those who from time immemorial have been excluded and subjected to violence. However, there is no improvement of the situation. As per the National Crime Records Bureau, a total of 4,40,691 crimes were committed against the SCs and the STs from 2001 to 2012. This implies at least 101 crimes were committed every day against the SCs and the STs during the same period. The figures of the NCRB are only tip of the iceberg as most crimes against the SCs and the STs are not reported to and/or registered by the police. That the Rajya Sabha passed the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Bill, 2013 only on 7th September 2013 reflects how far away India is from addressing caste specific tasks and caste based discrimination.”- further stated Mr Chakma.

Lamenting the Supreme Court, Asian Centre for Human Rights stated “A string of Supreme Court rulings against reservation including in the case ofIndra Sawhney Vs Union of India assume that untouchability has indeed been done away with following its abolition as per Article 17 of the Constitution of India, and there is no caste bias among the people in India. More fundamentally, these judgements overlook and undermine extraordinary level of caste violence as reflected in the data of the NCRB.”

Justifying the reservation policy, ACHR stated,  “Without reservation, the SCs and the STs, who are not allowed to enter houses and villages of the dominant castes, not to mention about the temples and other public places even today, would not have had access to educational institutions, government employment, State Assemblies and parliament; andIndia surely would have remained more divided and fragmented; and the existence of the country would have been more at risks in the face of violence and conflict as a direct consequence of caste based discrimination and exclusion”.

Asian Centre for Human Rights recommended to the Government of India to (1) centrally maintain details of vacancy position in respect of reserved posts and details of backlog vacancies and direct the Liaison Officers appointed in each Ministry/Department to update the same every three months in the centralized website; (2) issue Office Memorandum by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) of the  Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions instructing each Ministry/Department to provide that reserved seats for the SCs, the STs and others cannot be dereserved under any circumstances; (3) issue Office Memorandum by the DoPT instructing each Ministry/Department to provide that no reserved seat can be kept vacant on the “ground of no suitable candidates found” if any SC/ST candidate fulfill the basic eligibility criteria for the specific post; and further for keeping a particular post vacant, prior permission be sought from the concerned authorities, among others, by providing details of qualification of each candidate vis-a-vis the eligibility criteria in the previous recruitment process;(4) direct the Human Resources Development Ministry to launch special drives for recruitment of the STs and other reserved categories in the Central Universities and other higher educational institutions run and/or aided by the Government of India; and (5) amend the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 to include non-filling up of reserved seats despite availability of candidates from the SCs and the STs meeting the eligibility criteria as an offence under the Act. [Ends]